Keeping Dogs CoolPlay it cool!

Now that it’s summer please keep in mind that keeping your dog cool is very important and can be life threatening if they get too over heated.

Dogs don’t typically sweat like humans. Our entire surface (skin) “breaths” or sweats to keep us cool.

Dogs on the other hand, do not sweat through their skin and coats. Dogs expel extra heat by panting with their tongue and mouth open. They “sweat” through the pads on their paws and even through their ears.

If you are in the Ottawa area and need help with your dog, contact us now!

Keep exercise sessions like runs, dog park visits and off leash play times shorter or in doors. If you have a high energy dog that needs to blow off some steam, swimming is there best outdoor activity to help keep cool. If they aren’t a swimmer, best to get them out early in the morning before the temperatures heat up. Avoid mid day play when it is the hottest part of the day, or wait till early evening to go out if it cools off significantly from mid day temperatures.

On hot or humid days, best to keep your dog out of exposed, direct sunshine for lengthy periods of time. Make sure fresh cool water is always available to them as well as shade if and when they are outdoors.

Getting over heated can not only be dangerous, but can be deadly for dogs. Be aware of the signs that your dog might be over heated. Look for clues such as lots of very heavy and fast panting. Excessive dripping and drooling from a long tongue while looking like a big smile. If the dog is lethargic, doesn’t want to walk, stand or worse collapses, these are all signs of distress and best to immediately find some comfort for the dog ASAP. If the dog stops breathing, CPR may be needed.

Ways to help cool your pup down at the first signs of distress;

1st: Get them to cooler temperatures and if at home the dog will probably gravitate to a cold floor surface (like ceramic, on the bathroom or kitchen floor.)

2nd: Make sure they get cool fresh water, not to let them drink a gallon at once. Too much water quickly can further put the dog into stress and make them vomit adding more stress to the body.

3rd: Use cold compresses or icy cloths to hold the pads on their paws to bring the body temperature down quickly as well as on their ears and belly.

4th: Monitor their breathing to watch for it to slow down and let the dog rest some place cool. Depending on how severe the heat stroke is, the longer the recovery time will be. A few days may go by until they are back to normal, so give them a little time, no vigorous exercise and contact your vet for advice.